Father Lamanna
Father Lamanna

Father Alfred A. Lamanna, 98, longtime pastor of the former St. Mary’s Church in Frankfort, died on July 10.

Father Lamanna was born on Sept. 5, 1921, in Amsterdam, the son of the late Lawrence and Louise (Delli Veneri) Lamanna. He was raised and educated in Amsterdam, receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Penance and Confirmation at St. Michael’s Church.

After graduating from Amsterdam High School in 1940, Father Lamanna continued his education at Siena College, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and St. Bonaventure University in Olean. His seminary education took place at the Theological College of Washington, D.C., where he was a member of the Basselin Program’s Class of 1948. He continued his theological studies at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure.

On June 11, 1949, Father Lamanna was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Edmund F. Gibbons at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. His first assignment was as assistant pastor at the Cathedral in the summer of 1949. He spent three years as the assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Little Falls and six years as the assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Frankfort, before being named administrator of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Schenectady, where he served for six months. He then spent three years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Gloversville and five years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Amsterdam.

Father Lamanna’s first pastorate took place at the Churches of St. Catherine in Middleburgh and St. Joseph in Schoharie from 1967-69. He was then appointed as pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Frankfort, where he served the families of Frankfort for 25 years until his semi-retirement in 1994. He continued to be a thriving presence in the community of Frankfort for years to come.

On June 11, 2019, Father Lamanna celebrated his 70th anniversary to the priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Frankfort and a reception at Francesca’s Banquet Hall in Ilion, where he was surrounded by friends and family.

Father Lamanna was a member of various Knights of Columbus councils over 65 years; serving as chaplain in Ilion, Glovers­ville, Amsterdam and Herkimer. As the area chaplain, he participated in the National March for Life in Washington, D.C., in 1997. His work with Herkimer Council #579 led to their adoption of seminarians at Kericho in East Africa. Together, with members of the Herkimer K of C, he blessed the monument to unborn children at Calvary Cemetery in Herkimer.

From 1952-58, Father Lamanna served as the local Boy Scouts chaplain, organizing retreats to Camporee at White Lake and to the Auriesville campgrounds. He was also honored as the National Boy Scouts chaplain at Valley Forge. He served as the CYO director of both Fulton and Montgomery counties in the 1950s, and in 1953, received the Albany Diocese “Priest of the Year” award for his dedication to area youth.

In 1965, Father Lamanna received a citation for his “zealous work” in helping to push legislation for the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 on behalf of the American Committee on Italian Migration where he served as director.

During the 1990s, Father Lamanna spearheaded the project for the new bridge connecting the Village of Frankfort to Route 5, which was later named “Rev. Alfred A. Lamanna Bridge” by the State of New York and Herkimer County.

In 1999, he received the “Bishop David F. Cunningham Award” for outstanding service and devotion to the Church from Bishop James M. Moynihan of Syracuse.

During his retirement, he assisted various parishes in Herki­mer County as well as those in Utica, Richfield Springs and Canajoharie. More recently, he was the spiritual director of the St. Padre Pio Prayer Group of CNY. He promoted various causes, including the canonizations of Padre Pio, Cardinal Terence Cooke and Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus.

Father Lamanna is survived by his sister-in-law, Rose Lamanna; five nieces, one nephew, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and many friends. He was pre­deceased by his parents, Law­rence and Louise, and his four brothers, Louis Lamanna, Father Joseph Lamanna, Angelo Lamanna and infant Angel Lamanna.

A private funeral service for Father Lamanna’s family and brother priests was held on July 14 at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Frankfort and a Mass of Christian Burial was offered by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger. Interment in the Lamanna family plot will take place at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Amsterdam.